Bad Bosses: we've all had at least one. But would you go so far as to enter a contest in order to win? Unless I was planning to leave the company with another job in my pocket, I don't think I would. Or I would have to discuss a previous boss. But then, would that constitute liable if it were published? I would also hope to be smart enough not to enter on my work computer :ohno
What would you do? :mmm
For once, a bad boss could be a good thing
... By Peter Szekely
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. labor movement is asking workers to move their complaints about their bosses from the water cooler to the Web.
Working America, the AFL-CIO union federation's affiliate for nonunion workers, invited workers throughout the country on Monday to share their best stories about their worst bosses in its "My Bad Boss Contest."
Top prize is a one-week vacation.
"It's an opportunity for people to get this off their chests and to see what's happening out there and to shine a spotlight on this," said Working America Executive Director Karen Nussbaum.
It's also an opportunity for the worker advocacy group, which has more than 1 million members, to pick up new members, since contestants must go to www.workingamerica.org to enter.
Standing by to weigh in with on-line comments about the worst-boss stories are author Barbara Ehrenreich, who chronicled the plight of the working poor in "Nickel and Dimed," comedian tuned liberal talk show host Al Franken and liberal commentator Jim Hightower.
Voting for the best worst-boss stories will be done by Web readers over the next six weeks. Each week's top vote-getter will be eligible to compete for the grand prize, a seven-night vacation getaway and $1000 for a round trip air fare, to be announced by August 16
Leading vote-getters as of Monday were:
-- "Russ," whose table-thumping boss at a small Maryland company nixed bonuses, cut overtime and ordered managers to "instill fear" in workers to boost productivity, all because a competing company's owner had a more expensive car, and
-- "Graphics Girl," who left her Pennsylvania media company, and was publicly berated for doing so, after 10 years, including the last five where she worked 50 to 80 hours a week without overtime pay and often without seeing her children. "I missed birthdays and health and years of seasons changing since my office was in a basement with no windows, all for nothing," she wrote.
"It's important to legitimize for people that when you're treated unfairly on the job, that it's not necessarily something you have to swallow," commented Nussbaum.
And then there was "Nobody" from California who warned others by his own example of the perils of entering the contest from a workplace computer. "The fact that my entire Internet connection is monitored
by my employer prohibits me from making a contribution," he wrote.
Well, I'm afraid to fly so I won't be entering this contest, but I'm pretty sure my former bad boss would stand a pretty good chance of winning because of the following:
1. Told me a number of times that Catholics are weird (I'm Catholic).
2. Once when I had a telephone conversation with one of the salesmen who was complaining about the way I spoke to him (he may have been right - he was revolting and I have difficulty controlling my revulsion), the boss called me as soon as I hung up and laughingly told me he enjoyed my conversation with salesman. Big time creeps, learning he was monitoring my calls.
3. He cut back my hours to three days a week and then compelled me to work for his friend upstairs, who kept tequila and porn on his desk and smoked like a chimney in the same office I was working in. Yes, I could have said no, but I had already sent out 100 resumes with no luck and I really needed the money.
4. Attempted to steal salesman's commission and got infuriated when I called him on it.
5. Made (let?) receptionist take his kids to the movies one day so he wouldn't have to look after them.
6. He, the married with children boss, brought a hooker into the office one day.
7. He had an affair with the dim-witted 20-year-old temp worker.
8. Once he was done with her, he started up with the idiot, sociopathic receptionist.
9. When we merged with another company, our part of the firm was informed that someone needed to be laid off. Boss brought myself and co-worker into his office, informed us that because receptionist (who actually did no work at all because the existing company provided reception services) made less money than us, we would have to decide between ourselves which one was going to be laid off. It took me all of three seconds to say "me, I'm being laid off". Poor co-worker, never got a chance to escape.
I have a good friend who finally left a job of 5 years with the worlds worst boss. I can't even begin to go into all the stuff this woman did, but all the workers called her Osama behind her back if that gives you any clue!
Luckily for me, my worst boss is miles away since my unanimous quit. He was the most annoying, berating and just all around worse boss ever. I called him ahead of time to tell him I wouldn't be at work, and he cursed me out.
If I lived in America I would enter this. Though I don't know if I could beat Rattus. I had the most awful boss. Her stuff was all subtle put-downs, with a side of sneering though, difficult to describe. She was evil though. Eventually we began a counter-campaign of sending her "free" things in the mail, like those awful plates you see on the back of old-lady magazines. All kinds of things where you get one free, but have to notify them if you don't want more. It was wrong. We were young. Gave us a small feeling of power over her. Ever since then I've really had a thing about bosses who abuse their power relationship with young and inexperienced employees.
Ooh, this reminds me of another dreadful boss. I'm reminded because the person who had the position before me kept sending Ms. O dozens of pizzas - unpaid for, of course. There really isn't a lot of detail to go into about Ms. O, but she did once throw something at me because the IT department couldn't retrieve some info from the previously used system. And I was on the phone with a supplier regarding setting up an event, and he asked me "how the hell can you work for her?" As he didn't know me and had no idea how close we may have been, that's pretty bad, but I completely understood. She also told me that she'd like to "do" John Cleese, which is a LOT more than I really wanted to know about her, and she drove a co-worker quite literally into the madhouse. The poor woman was still cloistered in the arms of professionals when I finally quit. After I left, I was contacted by a headhunter who heard that I had a rep for getting along with "bitches". I'm not sure where she got that info, but she was so very, very wrong.
Originally Posted by giz
I think wanting to "do" John Cleese may be reason enough to be classified as a "bad boss". Or at least very, very odd. My H is from the same town as John Cleese, whose family name, incidentally, was apparently originally Cheese. (or perhaps this is just put about by people who have seen Cheese Shop one too many times).
This is, I swear, my last post about a bad boss. I was reading about the events going on during Pride week, which reminded me of this particularly horrifying example of a human being. One day a few of us were chit chatting in the office about this and that, and someone started talking about the play that was on at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, a local gay friendly theatre. Andrew said that the theatre should be burned down and the ground sown with salt. I assumed that because he was conservative he was objecting to government money going to the arts. So time went on, tra la la, and one day he said to me, apropos of nothing "all *gays* [I'm not going to use his language] should be dragged out into the street and shot". I actually went into the bathroom and started crying, I was so shocked and horrified. I went over his head to lodge a complaint with his boss, but the useless toad did nothing. I was underway making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission when Andrew got canned for something entirely unrelated. But following that airing of his loathsome opinion I said not word one to him, and a day on the job is not easy or comfortable when you refuse to speak to your boss. He is the one person I've actually met that I consider to be genuinely evil. Oh yeah, he was also a Christian missionary.
After inflicting his presence on us for 5 years my bad boss (whose title was Director of Finance) left on his own last year. When he left he said that he wasn't actively looking for another position, but when a recruiter told him about this opportunity he had to jump at it. Strangely, the position that he was going to was a less important one. Naturally, his leaving had nothing to do with the fact that the president of the company was constantly berating him for not knowing things that he should and that after he left a huge error in the company's finances was discovered.
The man was lazy and not very bright. He was supposed to be a Chartered Accountant, but either he was hit on the head after he became one or he had someone take his tests for him.
He was constantly complaining that things were too difficult. We have 2 departments in our company. We used to prepare separate financial statements for each department, as well as a combined one. He said that it was too complicated and had us stop. Yet, when we were developing specifications for an upgrade to our computer sytem, he thought that we could prepare financial statements for each machine. During the five years in which he was with the company he never learned how to use our computer system. It was always easier to ask someone else for information.
He was always trying to pass things off to someone else. One of his most constantly used phrases was "Can I leave this with you?" On one of the few occasions that he made a decision on his own, he advised the sales department not to charge a customer sales tax. His reasons for doing so, demonstrated that he knew nothing about sales tax laws. Just after he left we had a government sales tax audit. The auditor discovered the error and charged us several thousand dollars in penalties and interest.
One of the things that really frustrated our department was the he was constantly being bamboozled by our Purchasing Manager. The Purchasing Manager was continually coming up with schemes that would give himself more authority. Since it was my boss's goal to have our department have as little responsibilty as possible, my boss always agreed with him. He never consulted anyone in our department because he knew that we would fight him. Even if the Purchasing Manager's ideas were workable (and most of them actually created more work for our department and made things less traceable), the Purchasing Manager never followed through with his part. My boss acknowledged this, but said the Purchasing Manager's heart was in the right place.
Another of the Purchasing Manager's traits was that he treated that people beneath him in the organization like dirt, especially if they were women. The company nurse, I assume as a result of complaints, went in to see the company President to report his behaviour as harassment. The company President, brought the woman who reported to him and the women in our department who dealt with him in for interviews. After hearing their stories, the President tore a strip off the Purchasing Manager's boss and my boss for allowing this behaviour to happen. He then told the Purchasing Manager's boss to fire him. To do so, he needed a senior manager to act as a witness. He asked my boss (who after being told off was visibly pale) to be the witness. My boss said that he couldn't, because he had too much work to do and didn't have the time. While the firing was being done, my boss snuck out and went home.
His new job was in the area. A few times when people from our company go out to lunch, but he always pretends he doesn't see us or will walk out of a restaurant in a roundabout way so he can avoid us.
the worst boss I remember hearing about actually shut the door to an office where a co-worker had passed away at his desk. He didn't want to disrupt productivity so he waited til the staff left at 5pm to ring for an ambulance.
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